Bengt Petter
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat 09 Apr 2011, 11:27

Spacial aspects of being a teenager in Sweden during the 80's

Wed 21 Dec 2016, 04:00

As I remember my life as a kid in a quite small town in the south of Sweden, the spacial aspects mattered a lot. For example, when you visited a friend it was important if he (in my case, not girls) lived in a villa or in an apartment (like me). The villa people – this was really how I saw it – were usually richer, had more stuff and parents who were still married. One or two cars were usually a part of the villa life. Living in apartments were totaly different: of course less space, but also quite often a single parent and more limited resources. Townhouses (radhus in Swedish) were something in between those two – in my hometown, those were being built during the 80's. I remember those three different types places as very important in my childhood. More luxurious apartments didn´t exist, as I recall.

My hometown is, like many other Swedish towns, sorrounded by big forest areas. In those areas you could hide – things or your self. You could build your own hut or cubbyhole in or connected to a tree. Personally, I didn´t like the forest very much. It was either very boring (finding birds or plants were, to me, just boring parts of biology classes in school) or threatening. Dangerous people, such as the moped gang (see another thread), might show up in the forest. The forest was also an isolated area where you could find strange stuff: abandoned cars, old porn magazines, used car tires, and vodka bottles.      
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Björn Hellqvist
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed 07 Dec 2016, 20:41
Location: Sweden

Re: Spacial aspects of being a teenager in Sweden during the 80's

Wed 21 Dec 2016, 22:42

I grew up in one of Sweden's cities, Jönköping. Our neighbourhood was mostly single houses, and most of the kids in school were middle class, with dads with white collar or qualified blue collar jobs, the moms working in offices, at hospitals, or in stores, or in some cases were housewives. The projects and and areas with apartment blocks had more working class kids. Those areas tended to have a larger immigrant population. Then there were those who lived on the rural outskirts of the town, mostly middle class, too.

One rite of passage which was much more common back then was the confirmation, where 14 years olds went to Bible class for a while, and then took communion in order to "confirm" their membership in the Lutheran Church of Sweden. Most kids did it because of family tradition, usually sweetened with promises of gifts like a moped; the majority of those who did this weren't really believers.

Scouting was co-ed since many years, so it wasn't like in the States with Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. Still pretty chaste, but as we grew older, we tended to see each other outside of the troop, and in the case of our gang, partying pretty hard at times.

Drug use... Younger teens didn't drink as a rule (there were exceptions, of course). If they drank, it was usually beer or vodka. Pot and weed were very rare. Smoking was more common among girls, while boys could use "snus" ("snoose"), i.e. wet snuff. The really troubled kids could sniff glue.
My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos, ruined dreams, this wasted land.